Federal CARES Act Funding

CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

Minnesota State University Moorhead officially acknowledges that it has signed, returned, and received a fully executed Certification and Agreement on April 29, 2020. Minnesota State University Moorhead received $3,518,533 under Section(a)(1) of the CARES Act, and assures the public that we will provide no less than 50% or $1,759,267 for Emergency Grants to Students.

No Guidance Yet for Additional Federal COVID-19 Financial Assistance
As you may already be aware, the federal government has passed a third round of federal financial assistance, with some funds identified for higher education and university students. Please note that MSUM has not yet received any of these funds and there is no guidance yet as to how this money will be distributed. We do anticipate that some assistance will be distributed to students, as with the original CARES Act, but the details are not yet available. We will keep you updated as more information comes to light on this.

CARES Act Reporting

Total amount of the Institutional Portion of CARES HEERF funding is $1,746,050 with $0 allocated to date. (updated April 1, 2021)

Total amount of CARES HEERF Emergency Grants to Students to date: $1,759,267 (updated August 31, 2021)

Total number of students that have received Emergency Grants to date: 3,677

Estimated total number of students who are or could be eligible to participate in the Federal student financial aid programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and thus are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: 5,574

Minnesota State University Moorhead provided a base award to all eligible students who were enrolled in at least one credit of on campus, face to face learning. Further, an additional supplemental award was provided to students based on need as determined by EFC. In addition, MSUM utilizes two applications methods to award additional emergency grant funding. Applications are reviewed to determine how the COVID-19 disruption to campus operations impacted their financial situation and detail their funding request by eligible expense category. Approved eligible expense categories include, but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. All eligible students were emailed of their eligibility. Applications to the additional emergency grant funding are available on the MSUM CARE Team webpage or through the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid. Applications are evaluated as they are received. Students are encouraged to set up direct deposit, so that if they receive an emergency grant payment receipt can be expedited.

For further information on the methods used to determine eligibility, application instructions, and further guidance please utilize the information below.

The CARES Act provides institutions with significant discretion on how to award this emergency assistance to students. Each institution may develop its own system and process for determining how to allocate these funds while recognizing Minnesota State guidance below and the only statutory requirement, which is that the emergency student grants be used to cover student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. These eligible expenses include expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

The CARES Act apportioned the funding to each college and university through a formula where 75% was based on the relative share full-time equivalent enrollment of Federal Pell Grant recipients who are not exclusively enrolled in distance education courses prior to the coronavirus; and 25% according to the relative share to full-time equivalent enrollment of students who are not exclusively enrolled in distance education course prior to the coronavirus emergency. How the CARES Act apportioned funding does not mean that colleges and universities must distribute funds to students using this same formula.

The following proposal for Minnesota State University Moorhead was developed with guidance from the Minnesota State and University System and within the Federal CARES Act.

Total Allocation:
Minimum Allocation to be Awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grant to Students:

Proposed Utilization:

FY2019-2020 utilization:
$1,634,267 (93%)
FY2020-2021 utilization:
125,000 (7%)

$1,759,267 (100%)

Requirements to receive funding:

  • Must be enrolled in at least one credit of on campus or mostly on campus coursework as of March 6, 2020. (Must have a media code other than 03, 12, and 13).
  • Must not be admitted as a “special” admit type (PSEO, non-degree, concurrent high school students).
  • Must not be accepted as an 18-online graduate student.
  • Must not be assessed senior citizen tuition rates.
  • Must not be a MinnState employee who is receiving tuition benefits.
  • Must not be incarcerated. (MSUM has no incarcerated students.)
  • International students and undocumented students are ineligible (citizenship codes of 02 and 99 are excluded).

Funding cannot:

  • be used by the institution to pay off institutional charges;
  • count toward estimated financial assistance;
  • cause an over award.

FY2019-2020: $1,634,267

  1. Base Award (Award ID 10297):
    Grant of $250 to all students (graduate and undergraduate based on the parameters above):
    • $250 x 3677 (approximate eligible students): $919,250
      Justification for $250 base amount: $60/month internet access (2months) + $130 router
  2. Need-based Award (Award ID 10298): $715,017
    Based on 2019-2020 9-month EFC from the FAFSA (undergraduate only):
    # of Students
    % Total
    Additional Emergency Aid
    Need Based Award
    Total 1+2
    # of Students:
    % Total:
    Additional Emergency Aid:
    Need Based Award:
    Total 1+2:
    # of Students:
    % Total:
    Additional Emergency Aid:
    Need Based Award:
    Total 1+2:
    # of Students:
    % Total:
    Additional Emergency Aid:
    Need Based Award:
    Total 1+2:
    # of Students:
    % Total:
    Additional Emergency Aid:

FY2020-2021: $125,000

Emergency Awards (Award ID 10299): These funds are reserved for students and families who submit a professional judgement appeal form and have been impacted by COVID. Financial aid appeals will continue to be reviewed by the Assistant Directors and Director within the office as is the current model. In addition, these funds could be used through the Student Emergency Assistance Fund review process that is currently is also currently in place. These funds would be available for both returning and incoming students for FY2021. These funds must follow the same guidelines and are distributed directly to students.

This proposal will be shared with administration and upon approval brought forward to Student Senate.

Once approved, funds will be awarded to students utilizing common award ID’s set up by the system office. System will provide a list of all students who are eligible and will assist with $250 base award and need-based awards. Emergency Awards will be placed on students accounts by OSFA staff.


  • Students may be issued a 1098T for these funds. ED has determined that a 1099 is not required.
  • Business Services requests the funds via grants.gov

"...the sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses."